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13 March 2012

Showing Poultry

I've been thinking about putting my Australorp pullet, "Chica" up on the show bench to get some feedback from a qualified judge about her type and form. It's a little daunting to think of this, but she is a very nice looking pullet and I feel she is quite close to the standard for Australorp hens.
Here is a photograph of "Chica" that I took yesterday. It is a little bit grainy as it was snapped through the livingroom window, which just goes to show how long it has been since I cleaned the windows! *blush* Please ignore my housekeeping and look at the fowl. :)
Of course, given that I hatched and raised this little girl by hand, I am possibly biased about her looks, although I am trying to look with clear eyes and put the rose coloured glasses aside.
The only real way to be sure, is to show her and find out.
Chica is 22 weeks old, not quite fully grown as yet, and still needs to feather out a bit more, but she has the shape of an Australorp to her and the lovely compact tail of her breed.
I've been doing some reading this morning on what it takes to prepare and train a young bird for show and I think I might begin prepping her at least. Getting her used to handling, and being penned in a small show box would be one way to start. I can also begin to condition her legs and comb and groom her feathers with a silk cloth. All of that will at least start to tame her down and get her used to being examined and judged.
The local "Agricultural Show" (similar to a county fair) is in June and I think I could have Chica tamed and trained in plenty of time for it.

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